Big Y to hire 100 employees for its new store in Lee

Posted

Monday October 3, 2011

LEE -- Big Y Foods Inc. plans to hire 100 people for its new store in Lee that's expected to open next month, company officials have said.

The Springfield-based supermarket chain has started to accept on-line applications and this week, Big Y representatives will begin meeting with the prospective employees in Lee. Starting Tuesday through Oct. 15, the retail grocer will have a temporary hiring site at 33 Park Street, in vacant commercial space located next to the Rite Aid pharmacy.

The roughly 80 part-time and 20 full-time workers that are hired will be trained at other area Big Y stores before the Lee store opens in early November, according to Claire D'Amour Daley, Big Y's vice president of corporate communications.

In addition, the supermarket chain is transferring some of its veteran employees from other Big Y stores to Lee in an effort to have a smooth opening.

"There's nothing worse than a customer who can't get through the check-out line, so we'll sprinkle the new store with experienced workers," D'Amour said.

One of them is Steve Gigliotti, who will manage the Lee store, located near Exit 2 of the Massachusetts, after 12 years of running the Big Y supermarket in North Adams.

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Gigliotti said the 48,000-square-foot building will offer many of the same grocery items and prepared foods at similar size stores and employ the latest green technology.

"We will have solar panels on the roof and more energy-efficient refrigeration and lighting," he said.

Big Y, announcing nearly two years ago it was coming to Lee, was welcome news for town officials and residents who've been clamoring for a second major supermarket. The Price Chopper store has been the only grocer in town since Adams Supermarket closed in Lee nearly 25 years ago.

Big Y currently operates Berkshire County stores in Adams, Great Barrington, North Adams and Pittsfield and has 58 total stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut that employ 9,200 people. The chain has had a presence in the Berkshires since 1984, when it purchased the Adams Supermarket chain.

Besides the supermarket, Big Y is building an additional 5,000 square feet to its Lee store that will accommodate a yet-to-be determined retail tenant, D'Amour Daley.

Big Y estimates the Lee store will cost between $10 million and $12 million to build, atop the $4.25 million the supermarket chain spent in September to purchase the property from F.L. Roberts & Co. of Springfield.

F.L. Roberts had planned three years ago to construct a $21.5 million travel plaza that included a 93-room hotel and 210-seat family-style restaurant on the eight-acre parcel located off Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike. However, the economic downturn in 2008 forced F.L. Roberts to sell the site to Big Y.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.


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